Parent-Child relationships in ConfigMgr

Microsoft has released the “Run task sequence step” feature in Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 1710 as a pre-release and made this feature final in version 1802. What is this, and where can this feature be used for? In this blog post we will dive in this feature.

With the “Run task sequence step” feature in ConfigMgr parent child relations can be used within task sequences. This can be useful in cases where parts of a task sequence will be used repeatedly In multiple task sequences.

When something inside these reused task sequence tasks changes every task sequence needs modification. By creating Parent-child relations – maybe with some intelligence – the change only needs to be done once.
This feature can be enabled in the ConfigMgr environment under: “Administration ->overview ->updates and servicing -> Features”.

 

Use cases for parent-child task sequence relations

There are multiple use cases for using this new feature, the most important is to make maintenance to task sequences as easy and efficient as possible.

Use them for:

  • Driver pack installation
  • BIOS updates / configuration
  • Default prerequisite installations (C++ redistributables, Java runtimes, Citrix client etc.)


As above example shows, the use of a child task sequence is done twice; for the installation of driver packs and for the installation of prerequisite software.

Basics of the child task sequence

There is set an task sequence variable in the parent task sequence manually to determine what kind of OS is being installed (NT10.0 for Windows Server 2016, Windows server 2019 and Windows 10; NT6.2 for Windows 8 etc) followed with the architecture (x86/x64). These will be used in the selection of the required driver packs.

The child task sequences can be completely empty (create a custom task sequence) apart from the installations / configurations they are intended to.

In the driver task sequence all hardware models in the environment are listed with the appropriate driver packs. To select the correct driver pack WMI query’s will be used and for the OS version the task sequence variable.

When all complete the child task sequence will look like this

When deploying a task sequence only the parent needs to be deployed.

Conclusion

The Parent-Child relationship within ConfigMgr is a great new feature to keep the management over task sequences as easy and with little effort as possible. However you will lose some flexibility when this is standardized in the ConfigMgr environment. as an example when testing is needed within an child task sequence that is also being used for production, it will directly influence the production task sequence.

 

 

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